Veiled Reference

Welcome to Veiled Reference!

I’m Tzipora Weinberg — teacher, writer, and explorer of remote and dusty archives.  Captivated by tanach, intrigued by history, I’ve been finding my joy in Torah literature that combines the two.

Join us as we listen closely to voices that still echo from our nation’s past — distant, even obscure, but all the more exciting for that mystery.  It’s the place where fascinating women discuss fascinating women’s histories.

I invite you into a deep dive into pockets of history preserved in our Torah sources. With each episode, we’ll travel back in time to discover and re cover stories of women who might have otherwise been lost to us. Piecing together the tales of these women of old can help us to understand periods of time that we’ve only hazily conceived of before.

It’s time to let these women’s voices rise to the surface through the sources left to us and to learn about the lives they led and maybe draw inspiration and strength to empower each one of us on our own journeys.

I hope you enjoy, and welcome your feedback: podcasts@mishpacha.com

Listen on:
February 02, 2024

Glikl of Hameln is a familiar and beloved character to Jewish history enthusiasts. In this episode, we dive beneath the surface of Glikl’s words to deeply appreciate the forces at play for women of her era.
In conversation with Professor Elisheva Carlebach.
Dr. Carlebach is the Salo Wittmayer Baron Professor of Jewish History, Culture, and Society, at Columbia University.


BONUS MINIPOD: Shabtai Zvi, Birkas Kohanim, and the Path Away from the Kosel

January 08, 2024

The Silent Strength of Joanna of Burgos

Joanna is a name most people won’t recognize, but her story is one for the ages. This episode describes one woman’s faith under fire, in the aftermath of the 1391 massacres in Spain, and the ways women kept their faith throughout the years of the Spanish Inquisition.

In conversation with Yael Krumbein.
Yael teaches European History at Touro College’s Lander College for Women in New York City and Jewish history at Bais Yaakov Machon Ora High School in Passaic, NJ


MINI-POD: The Rivash and the Chasid Yavetz on women’s challenges and triumphs in Spain, 1391-1492

November 22, 2023

In this episode we unpack the hidden riches of the Cairo Geniza, the largest and most diverse collection of medieval manuscripts in the world, focusing primarily on  Jewish women’s stories as they emerge directly from Geniza documents.

In conversation with Eve Krakowski, Professor of Near Eastern Studies and the Program in Judaic Studies at Princeton University.

MINI-POD The Calendar Controversy: R’ Saadia Gaon and R’ Aharon Ben Meir

September 28, 2023

Part 1: Doña Gracia’s Rise to Power
It’s absolutely appropriate to begin our quest with a remarkable woman, Doña Gracia Mendes Nasí, who was nothing short of exceptional. And I’m thrilled to dive into her incredible story with Miriam Wielgus, who is pretty incredible herself.
In part 1 of this 2 part episode, we explore Doña Gracia’s rise to power, amid the political, cultural, and religious landscape of her era.

Part 2: Doña Gracia’s Reach and Legacy
In part 2, we discover the extent of Doña Gracia’s power in every sphere of influence during the era, and the way she used her vast wealth to improve the welfare of her Jewish brothers and sisters in multiple countries. We also get a peek into an intriguing legal and halachic conflict between Doña Gracia and her own sister, which is referenced in our sources several times, and still studied today.

** The full discussion of the halachic sources referenced in the episode can be found here.

MINI-POD BONUS: The Responsa on Doña Gracia’s Legal Conflict: